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The Symbolic Possession of the World: European Cartography in Mughal Allegory and History Painting

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Abstract From their earliest contacts with Europeans, the Mughals sought to obtain maps, atlases, and globes. They were, however, concerned with cartography less as a scientific tool than as a means to convey messages of status and power. Both cartographically correct and cartographically manipulated globes feature prominently in the allegories of Emperor Jahāngīr. Emperor Shāh Jahān added another dimension: European cartographical devices were introduced into history painting, to structure the imperial landscape and to document the emperor’s conquests.


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